In the world of tech blogging, we're apt to complain about what Merlin Mann calls 'First World problems', things which only very spoiled nitpickers would ever care about. Exhibit A: The 17' MacBook Pro, announced last week at Macword Expo 2009 (and yes, this is a little late, but I have been stuck in CES hell for the last week).

The most bemoaned feature of Apple's new Unabomber tea-tray is the battery. It offers a supposed eight hours on a single charge, and – thanks to some fancy new charging circuitry – will probably outlast the computer itself. What's not to love? Well, like the MacBook Air, the iPhone and all iPods before it, the new 17-incher has a non user-replaceable battery. This is what is making grown adults froth at the mouth with seething, red-eyed anger.

And they're talking nonsense. Here, for example, is the main argument against a sealed-in battery: You might want to use the machine on an airplane. What?! Tell me, Gadget Lab reader, upon which plane you might be able to use a 17 inch behemoth like this? Netbooks sit great on the economy class seat trays. A 15' MacBook Pro is pushing the limit. You wouldn't even fit a 17' 'laptop' on the tray, let alone be able to open it.

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What about business class, you say? As far as I know (which isn't very far -- I always turns right when I board a plane) all business class seats have power outlets, so you could use a computer with no battery. Verdict: This theory is bogus.

Outlast Macbook Pro Case

Sure, it's up to us gadget bloggers to call out the crap that we see, but we also have a responsibility to think a little before we open our mouths.


Photos: James Merithew/

Macbook Pro 16

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